Tea with God

By Lauren A. Birago

I came into our room. The room I've set apart as my place of prayer. I didn't have an agenda, though God may have. I came to meet him as if meeting someone so dear that their presence alone would fill every vacancy. I muddled about before coming in, thinking of things that really could have waited; thoughts of whether I should bring my tea into the room, whether I had completed every task and the question of why I was willing to be "late" this time crossed my mind as well. Why was I apprehensive?

I began to play worship music to help me shut out anything outside of our communion. Instead of taking me to a deeper place in him, as I had intended, I was distracted by other issues and concerns. It took a while before realizing that the worship music had become background noise to my thoughts. I apologized for the distraction, and at that moment I imagined sitting at a small table with God; his face I could not see. I had a cup of tea. I didn't see one in his hand. I was looking away from him; my body not even turned in his direction. This spoke volumes.

Though it was my imagination, it was a reflection of what was really taking place in spirit. I had come to meet God with confidence that I'd sense his presence, only I was the one not wholly present. My body was there, but my mind was somewhere else. My heart was not in a state of worship, and my ears were shut to the music I played. In my mental picture God said "You know I can handle all that has you consumed right now. I'm actually the one you should be turning to, for I have your answers." This was profound to me, because it reflects something that happens frequently.

When I deliberately set a time for prayer, worship, or the reading of his word, I frequently drift off to the cares that I was supposed to put aside. Instead of bringing those concerns within the meeting, to the only one capable of resolving them, I look outward and remain absent in his presence. That would be foolish if it were done deliberately. I can count numerous occasions when I've acknowledged God's presence and continued to attempt to order my own steps.

He gracefully led me to a place where thoughts were muted and surroundings had no power to draw my attention. I then began to share my heart; the deep feelings that I normally try to suppress because scary emotions are released. I told him I was hurt. I told him I was afraid that it would be a long recovery like before. I told him that I felt the anger again; the anger that he delivered me from just months before. Then he led me to stop speaking, I did, but only moments later I began again. I was reminded that I was to be silent.

The Lord began to fill my spirit with answers, detailed answers to questions I didn't know I had but were related to the cares I had just shared. He took the hurt, the fear, and the anger and uncovered their roots. He showed me things that made me bow under the pain even more. He shared the things that made me feel small and worthless; imprisoned and used; embarrassed and naked. He exposed a feeling that I never knew was a part of my lake of pain; one that encompassed the fragmented feelings with such accuracy — exploited.

As horrific as it was, it was cleansing, and just then I realized why such a gracious, merciful, and loving God would take me to a place that made me feel worse. He allowed me to cry. There was no sound, just tears that poured out as if a faucet was left on. It felt like a vacuum was sucking the breath from my lungs. My spine was no longer strong enough to hold my face off the ground. I cried, I cried, and I cried. I wondered how I could greet the morning without grooves on my face from where the tears flowed; how I could embrace the day that had a need for joy when my pupils showed the deep blue of my pain; most of all how I could lift my eyes and show my face. I was apprehensive, and I knew why. I was worried I would be caught in the whirlwind of thoughts and images, while bearing the weight of pretending to be okay. I thought that I would be torn between the flesh and spirit as I wanted to show my disdain, but knew I shouldn't. I dreaded appearing as diminished as I felt.

Amazingly that morning, I sat there light and safe. I responded with ease rather than with the internal tug of war, and most of all, I faced forward without feeling exposed. It felt refreshing like I was breathing new air. I looked behind me and walked over to place the tea pot on the stove. My heart smiled and I asked God to join me for tea.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 KJV)

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TagsChristian-Life  |  Personal-Life

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Published on 2-17-2014